Fresh arrest in Midnapore skeleton case

August 18th, 2011 - 9:40 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Aug 18 (IANS) The West Bengal Police Thursday arrested a witness in the nine-year-old Midnapore skeleton case and said fasting Marxist leader Sushanta Ghosh, now in Criminal Investigation Department’s (CID) custody, was “more or less” cooperating with the interrogators.

A day after a Midnapore court extended Ghosh’s remand by four days, the sleuths grilled the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader at the CID headquarters here even as he continued an indefinite fast against alleged “political vendetta” of the state government.

“He is more or less cooperating… But he is not eating. He is on fast. We are hopeful. We are trying to convince him. But he is taking medicines,” CID Deputy Inspector General (Operations) K. Jayaraman told reporters.

Ghosh, who was admitted to the state-run SSKM hospital last weekend for high blood pressure, does not have any physical problem now, Jayaraman said.

Asked whether there were any plans to conduct a polygraph test on Ghosh, Jayaraman said: “If he cooperates, there won’t be any need.”

Meanwhile, a six-member Left Front legislators delegation comprising several former ministers visited the CID headquarters but were refused permission to meet Ghosh.

They met Director General, Criminal Investigation Department (DG-CID) V.V. Thambi, who assured them that Ghosh was being well taken care of.

“We heard that he is on fast and his blood pressure has gone down. But we have been told that he is being well taken care of,” said CPI-M leader Abdur Rezzak Mollah.

Meanwhile, Santra, who helped locals identify the spot near a pond in Mallickdanga area of Garbeta in West Midnapore where the skeletons were buried, surrendered at the CID headquarters Wednesday.

“We arrested him today (Thursday). He has been remanded to CID custody for seven days. His name was not mentioned in the FIR (First Information Report) made in connection with the incident.

“We need to know what role he played. So we are taking him as an accused,” Jayaraman said.

The investigative agency is within its rights to arrest even those whose names are not mentioned in the FIR if that was needed for the probe, he said.

It is alleged that Ajay Acharya and some other members of the Trinamool Congress were attacked by armed people allegedly belonging to the CPI-M Sep 22, 2002.

Ghosh was one of the 40 people named in the FIR. Seven of the Trinamool members were brutally killed, the FIR claimed.

The victims, including Ajay Acharya, were untraceable since then. But June 4, the skeletons were recovered and led to the arrest of two of Ghosh’s aides.

Ghosh took anticipatory bail after a villager, Shyamal Acharya, filed a complaint that one of the skeletons was of his father, Ajay Acharya.

DNA tests have confirmed the identity of Acharya and that of another missing Trinamool worker, Swapan Singha alias Raju Singha.

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